Squats are a complex exercise – meaning they hit every muscle group. They should be a staple in your workout regimen.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Make sure they are firmly planted in to the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you and begin to lower your body in to a sitting position, focusing on bring your butt back and keeping a neutral spine. Push your knees outwards slightly but ensure that they do not pass your toes. Once you reach parallel or lower (if you don’t even hit parallel you did not perform a full squat) it is time to get back up! Drive through your heels as you keep your whole body tight.
Why should you do squats?
When performed correctly, squats are a great way to strengthen your knees. Additionally, squats are a very functional exercise in that they mimic movements that us humans perform on a day-to-day basis!
This complex exercise not only strengthens your quads, glutes and hamstrings – It will improve your flexibility, balance, core strength and not to mention… give you a great looking backside!
Wow, I’d really like to get in on this squat action!
That’s great! You’ve made a wise choice.
How to improve if you are unable to squat (without weight):
You can strengthen your legs but nothing helps a squat better than….a squat!
Practice squatting directly on to a box or chair. This will help keep you feet firmly planted to the ground and prevent you from falling over
Lunges, leg curls, step ups, calf raises etc can help but do not directly improve your squat
Once you have mastered the body-weight squat, consider adding weight! You will see great benefits in your strength and body composition. Plus, it just feels amazing to challenge yourself.
Front squat with 135 pounds
I love to squat. Hell, I sit in a squat position when I pick something up off the floor because I love it so much. I also love weight lifting. As you can imagine, I squat with weight (see picture above). Sadly, squats are not in my competition prep work out plan but I was doing them to build up muscle for the three months leading up to it. We will be reunited once again!
This weekend marked 7 weeks until my competition. I noticed that my abs are slowly coming out. My clothes are fitting so much better. People are noticing the changes in my body, not just me. I feel great and hope to continue feeling great!
Consistently following my plan and slowly seeing the benefits!